Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

Everyday, I am reminded that my daughters are more British than French. Today is no exception. We have to prepare for a dinner and I want the girls to be dressed a little bit more formally. Me being me, I am intending to wear my black dress. You can’t go wrong with a little black dress, can you? I personally like mine, because it is classic, timeless, flatters the figure, and the length is perfect. Here is a picture taken a few months back. Well, for my elder daughter, it was a no brainer: she said that she was going to wear her formal hot pants. I was stunned.



Naively, I thought that hot pants could only be something informal but no, I was wrong, there are hot pants for all sorts of occasions. In British fashion, that is. I have never seen a French woman wear hot pants in a formal setting. You can wear them on the beach during a sunny day but that’s as far as a you would go. And given the fact that I do not have the legs of a young girl, I am not sure that I would risk it. Would you? This is a great fashion schism: hot pants are BIG this side of the channel, but not in France.
So here she is, wearing her formal hot pants. 

In pure French style, I would prefer a black dress but I have no saying in the matter. Come on, she looks better in her dress doesn’t she? 

To tell you the whole truth, she didn’t want to try my black dress on, because ‘Come on, it would be a maxi dress on me!’ Wearing teeny-tiny hot pants is OK, but a normal dress, please no! And she prefers her hot pants anyway. Maybe it is some sort of teenage rebellion, maybe it is a British fashion statement. I will never know.
I had to face my fears. I decided to try her hot pants on. You see, I am no Kate Moss, and I am 40 now, but this is something that I had to try at least once. Well, it is done, and here is the result. It is nothing short of a miracle that I managed to fit into her hot pants.

Well, that’s a tick in the box. That said, as I am French, I will stick to my black dress. And she will stick to her hot pants. She is British, you see.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • good on you 🙂 I too stepped out recently in something new – skinny jeans! Who would have thought!

  • Marie

    Good for you! I’m American, we don’t dress for dinner. My husband and I have a work dinner thing-y to go to tonight, so I’m going to wear my non-ripped jeans. Maybe.

  • While I have yet to see “formal” hot pants in the States, the young women over here constantly where skirts that leave it impossible to sit in any ladylike manner (they seem to have lost the whole concept of “ladylike.”) I’ve noticed in France that the young women might wear something super short, but they pair it with leggings (unless, of course, they’re clubbing). I just don’t see even the French girls letting everything hang out. There is nothing sexy about letting everything hang out.

  • I avoid hot pants and skinny jeans too – at least on myself! As for men in skirts – I don’t even look Scottish! PS: Were you able to get out of the HPs or are they a write off??!!

  • MrsB @Mind over Matter

    They look much shorter than hot pants!!

  • Joy

    Kudos to you for conquering your fears, Muriel! Other than that, I’m kind of thankful I don’t have a daughter. Arguing over hotpants won’t be fun cos I know it’ll never end if it were me.

  • SarahHague

    Goodness those hotpants are very tight and small! I’d be terrified if I had a daughter who went out in them! It is not dissimilar to wearing big girl pants and black tights and I would not go out in my underwear, but then I was never very courageous with my clothes.

    My niece (16) wears some very short skirts but I’ve not seen photos of her in hotpants. If she were French, she would stand posing about looking, as my son puts it, into the middle distance, or waving a cigarette about. As she’s British, she just stands looking a bit awkward. Viva la difference.

  • Carolina HeartStrings

    Well, she may look more formal in her dress but she certainly looks HAPPIER in her hot pants. As for you – wow. I could never fit in ANYTHING of my daughter’s. The only thing that still fits me from that age is some earrings (sorry – old joke).

  • Ann Mullen

    I agree with you completely. Stick to the dress. If I want to see bums, I want them on little, bitty babies. I used to tell my daughter and her friends not to tease the animals. You did manage to sit nicely for not wearing a lot of clothes, MuriEL.

  • Wear the dress when you go out. Wear the hot pants for your husband in the house- and be ready… (because it’s not just the pants that are hot…)

  • Flora Tonking

    This is not what you want to hear, but you both look rather fabulous in the hot pants! Wow.

  • MuMuGB

    Thank you Flora! I have to say that the whole experience was really funny. That said, I believe that I am done with hot pants now!

  • MuMuGB

    Thank you Roy (blushing now)! I have to say that I still don’t understand what hot pants are about. I think that I am just too old!

  • MuMuGB

    Thank you Ann! I tried to find the best pose really. I am not going anywhere with the hot pants!

  • MuMuGB

    Ah Ah! I was very surprised to be able to find in them. I suppose that all the yoga finally paid off!

  • MuMuGB

    Indeed. I think that it might be a generation thing. I will never get it. French girls are very much into mini skirts too. Go figure.

  • MuMuGB

    Believe me, Joy, it is tough to be the mom of a teenager. It is hard work because you have to find different ways for them to listen to you. I am still working on it. You wouldn’t believe the efforts I have to make!

  • MuMuGB

    She is British, you see! The shorter, the better.

  • MuMuGB

    The HP are alive and well. Nothing short of a miracle really. I suppose that all the yoga has paid off!

  • MuMuGB

    It is a generation thing. We can’t get it. I have to say that I understand that she wants to show up her legs-they are gorgeous, but it is a bit too short for me. I will never get it!

  • MuMuGB

    Lucky you! When can I move over?

  • MuMuGB

    I totally want a picture Janine! Good on you too! As for hot pants, now that I have tried them on, I will forget about them!

  • Suerae Stein

    I’m not sure those can be considered pants at all! I thought it was tough over here with “leggings.” All the teenage girls wear them (including my daughter, so I understand your issues with where to draw the line) and they are nothing more than opaque tights, worn as pants. No long shirts or short skirts over them. But even those seem to show less than your hot pants. I am looking forward to the pendulum swinging the other way, when over-sized sweatshirts and bulky jeans are back in style!

  • MuMuGB

    Me too! It would be so nice to have maxi dresses & jeans back in fashion. Not to mention the fact that we won’t have to wax our legs as often…Just saying!